Monthly Archives: July 2011

Slack-ish

My post Juneathon activity has been a bit slow, to be fair. A run on Tuesday has been combined with a week off the bike to alleviate feelings of boredom and hatred towards all things pedal-able which, along with two mid-week social outings, has kept activity to a minimum.

Yesterday saw a return to form-ish with a cycle to the paper shop, a superb outing to Hyde Park for a jog around the perimeter before the Juneathon picnic and follow-up pub visit (a few pints of Doom Bar went down very nicely on a July afternoon).

3 miles wasn’t enough to keep me bubbling along ready for a half marathon, though, so today saw a 6 mile outing on my favourite countryside loop past the best tree houses in the world, the local owl sanctuary and several fields. It was a bit warm this afternoon but the morning was filled with shopping and DIY, so was the only time remaining.

The other thing I’ve not had a chance to update on, and not had the opportunity to slip into a post, has been the purchase of two new running tops. I’ve been a fan of my Helly Hansen short sleeved tee (and been wearing it to death) for over a year now and, since it still performs perfectly I added another to my wardrobe. I have a winter warmth Ronhill top from a couple of Chrstmases ago that also gets a caning in the cooler weather but thought, with my increased cycling, I’d try a crossover top, hoping to combine a bit of wind stopping with a modicum of warmth. I hunted down and settled for a Ronhill half zip thing which I tested yesterday on the paper buying outing and perfectly it performed, too. Not too warm for a summer morning, a strong wind blowing against me on the way to the shop revealed it to arrest most of the blast which should make it pretty damned good in the winter months.

The purchases were from SimplySweat.com, a company JB used a short while ago and suggested for a try-out. And well worth it they are, too. A very well organised site, good images and descriptions, helpful sizing advice, everything I’d hope for in an online store. But with the added bonus of simply the best order update, information and delivery service I’ve ever experienced.

Chain Reaction were my previous benchmark (a cycle store based in Ireland who manage to do most things very cheaply, efficiently and with good back-up) and simplysweat easily match them from first experience.

JB was delighted to see some of the tops I looked at had a “Catwalk” option to see the product being modelled…the girls department doesn’t, but it’s clearly worth a look if you’re either interested in seeing the cut of the cloth or just fancy a perv at a fit bloke!

I’ll be using them again, for sure, and have no hesitation in recommending them to anyone…I’ve even added them as a link over on the right of the page in case my auto link loses the details. And that’s not a common occurrence.

So back to normality and next week will see a short run on Tuesday, a cycle to work Wednesday and some hill repeats on Thursday if all goes according to plan. Will see if it all works out.

463.15 miles to go.

Ahhhhh.

After Juneathon and the race on Friday, I seem to have become a little burned out. Or is that burnt out? Frazzled, anyway.

Probably more mentally than anything but I’ve been enjoying a rest, all the same. Zero miles over the weekend (apart from on the motorised variety of two wheeled transport) brought me happily to Monday where a niggling headache saw me enjoying half an hour of watching cycling on the tv before bed beckoned.

This evening saw me wanting to run but not having the last bit of mojo to get out of the door until I remembered I needed to buy some bananas. And that it was raining and I sometimes like running in the rain in the summer. And that the only way to find out was to get out and go.

So I did. And I have.

Nothing special but a decently pleasant 3 mile jog out on the lane, back through the housing estate, a pop into The Ever Stressful Cock Office for 6 of those yellow curls of grassy goodness and a trot home.

The warmth of the rain even had me voluntarily brushing through a few low hanging branches despite the extra moisture that inevitably found its way onto my glasses and a refreshed and re-invigorated man I am.

I now have two days of booked evenings so may pop in a small run on Friday before the weekend allows a proper trot out and, possibly, a few miles on the pedal cycle once more. I must sort out a training schedule for my upcoming half marathon; maybe that will be the thing to do on a tired Friday evening.

481.34 miles to go.

Shome mishtaik, shorely?

Juneathon being over and all that, my weary legs were demanding both rest after 130 odd miles since Monday and fluid where I constantly seem to be dehydrated. JB, however, had other ideas. Despite coming home and finding her lounging in the conservatory and hoping for a relaxing evening, she said she wanted to do the local 5k race which we’d been agreed on doing all June.

A local 5k after work seemed a good idea; just not on my weary June addled legs. I was all for a rest.

Still, she won and off we went. Arriving early, we hesitated before entering since we were among only a few runners but by 6.30 the ranks had swelled enough for us to think we might not come a shameful last and laster. These local 5k’s have a habit of being fast with a capital F. The Rye summer series last year had winners around 15 minutes. F fast.

Still, as time wore on, the 2 junior runners did their lap to much applause before we assembled for the off. And as predicted, some super fast boys were crowding the front ready to go. And they went. The start was hard to pace. Weary legs (not excuse finding, just stating soreness!) and downhill starts are odd and 5k isn’t a race distance I’ve done before (except in a santa suit). I just ran freely. The field thinned out and I was among 4 runners feeling comfortable. Two of the group fell off around half way and I was left following a gent who was half a pace slower for a few yards, only to open the gap before I could pull alongside. I couldn’t find a rhythm to pass him and checking my Garmin showed I was happy with the pace, so I continued to follow.

Around 2.5 miles I got a silly little stitch (same distance in as in the Hamstreet 10k, oddly enough) but with half a mile to go I couldn’t let it stop me. A quick joke with the bloke in front, a question from him as to whether I fancied a sprint (my answer was if he was ready now, he should go since I was fading and stitching!) and an upping of pace from him that I couldn’t match saw me alone for the final couple of hundred metres which made a sprint finish difficult to say the least.

I felt I’d done my best, though and settled for a medal and a banana and a wait for JB to come over the line.

A chat with a few other finishers revealed a junior who’d finished in 17 minutes (my own time was 20.44) and a winner around the 15 minute mark. He looked ridiculous during the race – massive strides, fast tempo, simply crazy. Overall it seemed a nicely organised run in a nice setting, local and reasonably well represented from club runners to first timers.

Cathy finished well, overtaking a girl on the final park bit and everything, even if she couldn’t hear my shouts of encouragement over her i-pod. And upon finishing, she asked should we leave when I said they were about to do the prizes and since we’ve only seen one prize creremony we might as well hang around.

Well.

After the first three home were awarded their bottles and the first 3 ladies were honoured in the same way, something odd happened.

The winners name of the over 40 category was…Shaun Burgess. Who?! I looked around suspiciously. The race director looked at me. I looked around again. He looked at me again and called me forward.

Oops. I seem to have won my age category at a race. Only a small local race, but look.

 Winning wine and everything.

How shocked am I?

So 130 cycling miles, no rest, no food, work and an inpromptu race and all of a sudden I’m excited and all sorts.

Small race it may be; not a scintillating time, maybe; best old-ish bloke on the day it certainly is.

iliketocount…minor category minor race winner.

YAY! I’ve got to climb down from my excitable perch and relax, eat and sleep now. While trying to stop JB quaffing my winnings before I’ve looked at it a bit more!

486.33 miles to go.